SUNY Buffalo State senior Laura Klemann knew from a young age that she wanted to become a music teacher. Klemann started playing the viola as a fourth-grader at Bennett Park Montessori, and she graduated from City Honors High School with a dream of pursuing a college degree.
How she would pay for college was the unknown. While her father and mother supported Klemann in many ways, they couldn’t afford college tuition.
Klemann found the answer to her long-held dream at Buffalo State’s Financial Aid Office, which provides information on scholarships. Due to her tenacity and talent, Klemann, who spoke on the impact of giving at the campus’s Donor Day, held August 30, has received at least three scholarships every year since she transferred to Buffalo State in 2011. They include the Alumni Legacy, Buffalo Federation of Women’s Clubs, Dorothy Mierzwa Pieniadz, ‘45, Dr. Harry and Lorraine Ausprich, and Gloria Shea scholarships.
This fall, Klemann received $2,700 in scholarship money, which comes at a time when Klemann is applying for her teaching certification and exam, and graduate school.
“This is huge,” said Klemann. “I really didn’t know how I would pay for all of this without the help.”
Klemann chose to attend Buffalo State once she learned of the numerous opportunities for classroom teaching it offers its students.
“All my professors have strong connections with teachers in the area, and it’s great because you get instant feedback on classroom teaching,” she said. Since starting in the music education program, Klemann has taken advantage of many teaching opportunities, including an internship with the Buffalo Urban Music Program. This fall, she will be teaching alongside the orchestra teacher at Amherst Middle School. She hopes to land a job teaching middle school orchestra after she earns a master’s degree.
“I really love that age group,” she said.
Gracious and self-possessed, Klemann expressed gratitude and amazement at the ease in which she found the scholarships that made her college experience possible.
“Some of my friends think it’s hard to apply for scholarships. It isn’t,” she said. “In a few of them, there are no major restrictions, no essay to write. You just have to apply.”